Reuters reported that talks between Washington and Jerusalem over a new 10-year agreement to define the size and scope of military aid to Israel have stalled. While negotiations over the Memorandum of Understanding are continuing, the two sides disagree over funding for missile defense projects and how much the Jewish State must spend with U.S. defense firms.
At the request of Israel’s Foreign and Defense Ministries, NATO invited the Israeli government to open a permanent office at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels. Turkey had reportedly blocked the invitation since 2011.
The Israeli government said it would continue plans to privatize Israel Military Industries (IMI), with officials requesting a third valuation of the state-owned company. Meanwhile, antitrust authorities will probe into whether Elbit’s proposed acquisition of the company would raise competition concerns. Elbit is currently the only firm left in the bidding process for IMI.
Technicians in the Israeli Air Force have begun testing new specialized weapons systems for the F-35 fighter jets it will start receiving later this year. While specific details were not revealed, Rafael’s Spice will be installed to guide advanced air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground munitions.
Israeli Military Technology
General Robotics unveiled a 26-pound, pistol-equipped robot named Dogo. Designed for close-quarter combat and counterterrorism missions, the ultraportable robot will limit the exposure of police or ground forces attempting to clear buildings. Dogo will also be able to carry non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray.
|Dogo can brandish a standard Glock 26 9mm pistol. (Photo: General Robotics)|
Elbit successfully demonstrated its BrightNitemultispectral panoramic system for helicopter pilots. A special helmet and sensor array located on the outside of the aircraft enables pilots to see a computer generated landscape, enabling them to fly in degraded visual environments.
Foreign Military Sales
Elbit delivered driving simulators to two unnamed NATO members. The systems will help train troops to drive a variety of heavy vehicles, including armoured infantry vehicle, off-road trucks and mine-protected vehicles.
Raytheon plans to use Rafael’s Tamir interceptor, the same missile used in Iron Dome batteries, in an upcoming bid to provide U.S. soldiers protection from rockets, drones, and missiles. The U.S. army has opened-up a tender for defensive systems to safeguard ground troops, with bids also expected from Lockheed Martin.
The U.S. Navy awarded Elbit a $7.5 million contract to upgrade the Naval Test Pilot School’s C-26 aircraft.
A bipartisan congressional delegation lead by representative Michael McCaul visited the Multinational Force and Observers’ (MFO) peacekeeping mission in Sinai in early May. In a video the congressman said he met with military officers to determine the best way to combat the threat posed by Sinai’s Islamic State affiliate.
The U.S. State department approved a possible upcoming sale of OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters and support equipment to Tunisia for $101 million.
BAE systems announced that it is working with Emirates Defense Technology to build a version of its M777 self-propelled 155mm howitzer for the United Arab Emirates.
The Pentagon awarded Raytheon a $28.6 million foreign military sale for work on Qatar’s Air and Missile Defense Operations Center.